About Us

Founded in 2009 by attorney Geoff Hoatson, the Family First Firm has served hundreds of Central Florida families with their legal needs through all stages of life.

We are a boutique law firm dedicated to helping our clients protect themselves, their families, and their legacy through wills and trusts, advanced directives, Medicaid qualification, Veteran’s benefits, and probate. We pride ourselves on our non-traditional approach which focuses on our clients’ experience – you’ll never feel like “just another client” here. As our client, you will not be an interruption of our work, you become the purpose of our work. Whether rejoicing in the birth of a child, planning for your golden years or celebrating the life of a loved one, we’re by your side. At the Family First Firm, it’s our privilege to protect you, your family, and your future.

Our Staff

  • Geoff Hoatson

    Attorney / Principal

    Growing up in Central Florida as the son of a physician I remember conversations about lawsuits; about a family colleague who had been named in a suit and lost everything; about suits that could occur from automobile or private property accidents. My family felt they had an increased exposure and after graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Economics I applied to Law School with the focus of helping others live without fear.

    The year before law school, it happened to me. I was sitting at a red light and when it turned green I took my foot off the brake in time to gently tap the car in front of me. Doing the right thing, I followed the driver to a parking lot and we determined that there was no damage. The driver suggested we exchange insurance information and not involve the police. I naively agreed. Three weeks later I received a demand letter for $88,000 from her attorney. The case ultimately settled for $5,000 but I learned a lesson the hard way.

    This experience helped guide my choice to attend Emory University School of Law, not only because it was a ‘Top Twenty’ school but because of its faculty and reputation in the field of estate planning and asset protection. Protecting families and their legacies includes asset protection and as such I focused on this and related specialties before returning to Florida. While I’ve had the opportunity to handle estate and asset protection planning for numerous people in high-risk occupations, anyone can be faced with potential liability just by driving on our increasingly dangerous Central Florida roads. We also focus on protecting our client’s assets from nursing homes and long-term care. Despite what you may have heard, it’s never too late to discuss protecting yourself and your legacy.

    The Family First Firm was established in 2009 with the goal of serving our local community. We are proud to have helped countless families achieve their goals and gain peace of mind by protecting everything they hold dear. We’d be honored to help you too.

  • Beth Roland

    Attorney

    Attorney Beth Roland practices in the areas of probate, trust administration, guardianship, estate planning, and Medicaid. Beth earned her Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sweet Briar College. She is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the Virginia Bar Association, the Florida State Guardianship Association, the Seminole County Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association and the Seminole Health and Human Services Network.

    Beth has served as a court-appointed Court Monitor in guardianship proceedings and has experience serving as a Qualified Guardian Ad Litem and as a volunteer for the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA). She also volunteers her time writing an appellate brief for the Guardian Ad Litem Program’s Defending Best Interest Project. She has authored articles and publications on the topics of estate planning, probate, and guardianship, and has served as a speaker on various areas of Elder Law for the National Business Institute Continuing Legal Education Program and for the Florida State Guardianship Association. Ms. Roland is a certified volunteer for the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council. She and her family also volunteer their time at multiple animal rescue organizations.

  • Erica Berger-Hausthor

    Attorney

    Erica is a New York native who earned her Juris Doctor from City University of New York School of Law, a premier public interest law school in Queens. She is a member of both the New York and Florida Bar Associations. Erica is very close with her family, especially with her great Aunt Bea, who was her very best friend. Her love for her great Aunt was what inspired her to become an Elder Law Attorney. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her family, going for a run, eating sweets, and exploring new places.

  • Kate Johnson

    VP of Operations

    Kate is originally from New York, where she attended Columbia University in New York City. She has worked in various industries, gaining over 15+ years of executive/administrative experience. Married with 3 kids and 2 furpups, Kate is an avid photographer, loves to travel, and can be frequently found on the sidelines of her kids sporting events on any given weekend.

  • Michelle Astor

    Community Liaison/Paralegal

    Michelle is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but moved to Central Florida in 1992, where she has resided since. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Interdisciplinary Studies concentrating on Health Services Administration and Social Sciences. Michelle is always helping someone! In particular, she loves helping the elderly community. She provides families with professional guidance and heartfelt support. Michelle is passionate about serving others and has dedicated her career to doing just that. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her hubby, her beautiful daughter, and her whipador and golden retriever, Rocco, and Rusty.

  • Carole Knight

    Senior Paralegal

    Carole is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Seminole State College Legal Studies program. Prior to joining Family First Firm, she spent over three years at an Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm in Lake Mary, FL. She spent nearly ten years with Southwest Airlines. During her tenure at Southwest, she received one of the company’s highest honors after planning a Thanksgiving meal for several hundred service members. Carole was a cast member on the reality TV show Airline during the 2004-2005 season. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her children.

  • Adriel Parks

    Paralegal

    Adriel is originally from New York, but in 2009 moved to Central Florida. In 2016, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science becoming a UCF alum. Her motivation is helping veterans and their families through hard times. She strives to help them get assistance so they can enjoy their lives with little stress. In her free time, she has many hobbies which vary from traveling the country to relaxing and reading her favorite book or discovering new crime shows on Netflix. However, any adventure she is on you can find her husband Leymore and dog Cooper right along beside her.

  • Jessica De Leon

    Medicaid Team Manager

    A native of California, she moved to Florida when she was just 7 years old. She graduated from Lake Brantley High School and received her Associates Degree at City College for Medical Office Administration. Prior to joining Family First Firm, she gained 5+ years of experience with Medicaid, as well as elder law. Married with 2 amazing kids, she loves to go to the beach, spending time with her family, and cheering on her kids at their sporting events.

  • Sherri Perez

    Senior Medicaid Specialist

    After being born and raised in New York, Sherri relocated to Central Florida in 2008. She relocated with her husband, children, and incredible parents. She is committed to patient advocacy and has ten years of experience working in the healthcare field. Her passion in life is helping others in any way possible. When she has free time you can find her spending quality time with her family, in the kitchen cooking, or out enjoying nature.

  • Marvelis Reyes

    Medicaid Specialist

    While Marvelis was born in New York, she considers herself a Florida native. Her passion was found at a young age, having been in the healthcare industry since she was 16 years old. Marvelis brings five years of Medicaid experience to the firm. She is a mother to a very active 11 year old, who loves all sports but especially the New York Mets and Knicks. In her spare time besides spending time with her son, she loves volunteering in the community and serving at her church, Journey Church-Winter Park, where she leads a Women's Small Group. She loves anything fitness and loves to coordinate Women's Social Events.

  • Francheska Williams

    Medicaid Assistant

    Francheska is a true Central Florida native. She received her Associates Degree from Seminole State College, and with a background in the medical field, Francheska has always had a passion for helping others. She is married with four wonderful children, and in her free time, she likes to stay active by exploring the outdoors and being by the beach as much as possible.

  • Jenna Jones

    Community Liaison

    Jenna is originally from Ohio where she received two Bachelor Degrees from Cleveland State University. She made the move to Central Florida to attend UCF for her Master’s Degree in Mass Communication, which she completed in 2018. Her background varies from the movie industry and ESPN to working for the Office of Emergency Management in Seminole County. In her free time, she enjoys being near the pool or ocean, exploring new food places, and just enjoying the moment. Even though Ohio is where she’s from, she likes to call Florida her new home.

  • Emily Manuel

    Operations Assistant

    Emily is originally from Winter Springs, Florida and is a recent graduate of Seminole State College. She is currently enrolled in UCF to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Emily is an experienced assistant with a history working in customer service, law, and administrative roles. When she is not working you can find her traveling the World Showcase at Epcot or catching a cult classic at the Enzian.

  • Sarah Rivera

    Administrative Assistant

    Sarah is a proud native from Altamonte Springs. She earned her Bachelor's in Psychology from Rollins College Hamilton Holt school. She has over 5 years of experience in administrative support, primarily in the legal sector. Outside of the office, Sarah is an avid traveler: visiting family in Colombia, living in Portugal for 2 months and visiting her favorite country, Iceland. When she's not traveling, you might find her kayaking in the springs or sweating in a hot yoga class.

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